Hospital Beauty: How to Look Vaguely Healthy While Hooked up to IV Steroids

Looking like you're not about to die when you're wearing a backless robe with your arse hanging out is quite an achievement.

Jul 31, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

This weekend I was in London with my boyfriend and his friends, and planning on getting meat sweats and engaging in a full scale meat orgy at a Brazilian churrascaria. (Have you ever been to one? They are INSANE. The waiters bring you meat non-stop until you swear blind you will never consume another animal again in your life. They are amazing.)

Instead, I ended up collapsing on a train, vomming on my new lime-green floral-print Topshop number and hooked up to a drip, with only a hospital menu of cheese omelet and savoy cabbage to whet my appetite.

Luckily, I’m quite the pro at an off-the-cuff hospital stay, and look at it the same way as someone without a chronic illness might look at a festival -- Dry shampoo! Baby wipes! Disgusting toilets! Endless drugs! Relief when you can finally leave and actually wash!

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Before I unleashed my hospital beauty swag bag

Looking like you're not about to die when you're wearing a backless hozzy robe with your arse hanging out and vomit down your leg (WERK!) is quite an achievement. I like to think I've got it DOWN.

Should you ever find yourself needing to dash into the hospital and you don't have much time to prepare, here are my top recommendations that will have you smelling less like anti-bac hand sanitizer, and looking way fresher than anyone else on your ward. Trust me! I’ve got fucked-up intestines! I know what I'm talking about!

Firstly, you are going to NEED baby wipes. Not just face wipes, but the big industrial sized wipes by Johnson & Johnson or similar. The "baby wipe bath" is far more pleasant than having a nurse try and force you into the shower while you are still completely whizzing your tits off on oromorph.

Secondly -- another winner of a baby product -- baby powder. This can multipurpose as a sweet smelling dry shampoo (just rub onto your fingers and distribute along your hairline) and keep you feeling fresh -- just splash some under your pits after your baby wipe bath.

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Baby powder – the hospital lifesaver

Posh moisturizer is a definite plus, when you're feeling like shit it really is the little luxuries that will make you feel better. I like to have a nice, rich facial cream with me, such as Benefit’s Total Moisture, which will counteract harsh hospital air conditioning and make your skin glow like you've just had a great shag, and not spent the last 24 hours cursing the very fact you were born.

Not so posh, but I think you can’t beat Nivea hand lotion. I reapply it religiously in the manner of a deranged Lady Macbeth. If you can hack strong smells while ill, then a luxe facial oil such as Clarins Blue Lotus oil will do you a world of good when applied before sleeping. Ditto with Estee Lauder’s famed Advanced Night Repair, which really does make you wake up looking a million times better.

Another problem when feeling like you've just been dug up is that it is really hard to motivate yourself and be positive. I find that doing something as simple as brushing my hair not only stops me from looking like Struwwelpeter’s lovechild (Google him, he is fucking terrifying) but makes me feel like I'm in control again, which is pretty important when relying on people to help you, y’know, not DIE.

Now: onto the Big Guns. Make-up. My secret "I’m healthy, honest! You can totally discharge me now!" arsenal is as follows:

• L’oreal Nude Magique BB Cream: the only BB cream I’ve tried that I actually like. It moisturizes adequately enough that you can skip a face cream if you want to, and doesn’t leave your face feeling cakey.

• A little peachy blush such as Benefit Georgia will perk your face up but you won’t look too "done," and you won’t scare any children who may happen to visit.

• BROWS BROWS BROWS. Fill them in, make sure they’re arched gently, use brow gel if necessary. The brow maketh the face.

• A couple of light coats of Max Factor Masterpiece mascara will separate and define your lashes and open up those tiny little pissholes in the snow. Nobody will know you haven’t stopped crying for two hours!

• A moisturizing balm such as Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable in "Honey" will make you look healthy without being overly obvious.

I managed to get myself discharged in record time wearing that little lot yesterday.

Have you perfected your hospital swag bag? Got any top tips for me? Let me know on Twitter @Natalie_KateM